June 19, 2014
Today, in its unanimous decision in Alice Corp v. CLS Bank, the Supreme Court took one more step towards the abolition of patents on software inventions. Upholding its previous positions, the Court held that abstract ideas and algorithms are unpatentable. It also emphasized that one cannot patent “an instruction to apply [an] abstract idea … using some un-specified, generic computer.”
SFLC submitted an amicus brief on our behalf and that of the Free Software Foundation and the Open Source Initiative. As we there argued, we would go substantially further in prohibiting the patenting of software inventions than the court has gone today. We will continue to work with these and other members of our community to prevent the misapplication of patent law to software, a practice that undermines our clients’ freedom to invent and the public interest in free innovation.